Boutique system builder Digital Storm today unveiled Bolt, a small form factor (SFF) PC billed as the slimmest custom designed gaming computer ever built. Bolt is the latest attempt to port PC gaming to the living room with smaller size systems that have a comparable footprint to that of an Xbox 360 console, which pair nicely with Steam's new Big Picture Mode. The Bolt measures just 3.6 inches wide, 13.3 inches high, and 13.4 inches deep. That's just slightly more portly than the Xbox 360 Slim, which measures 3 inches (W) by 10.6 inches (H) by 10.4 inches (D).
Falcon Northwest maintains a strong reputation among PC enthusiasts. Part of the way the company keeps its focus is by offering a limited number of products; when it comes to Falcon Northwest desktops, you've the Talon, the FragBox, and the Mach V, but that's it -- or, at least it was until today. The new Tiki desktop is a slim and slender compact PC that's 40 percent smaller than the already diminutive FragBox, but it can still pack a wallop component-wise. Plus, it comes with a solid 6 lb. granite base to keep the tower sitting firm and pretty.
One of my earliest gaming memories involves trading illegal goods, hunting down pirates, mining asteroids and generally gallivanting around the galaxy as the intrepid Commander Jameson in the Amiga version of Elite. Unfortunately, the Amiga was killed off soon afterwards -- or so we thought. It turns out that the Amiga brand, kind of like Cthulu, was just biding its time. Commodore USA just announced it's releasing a new small form factor PC sporting the Amiga name, but packing a much, much bigger punch than its predecessor.
Just when you thought the boutique system builder market had grown a bit state, Dell jumps in to try and freshen things up with its new Alienware X51, its smallest gaming desktop to date. The X51 is a small form factor (SFF) system with an equally small starting price of $699. It's built around Intel's second generation Core i3/i5/i7 platform and features an Nvidia GT or optional GTX class graphics card.
Hot on the heels of our review of the Blu-ray-like Acer Revo RL100-UR20P Lenovo has released a new, slim nettop that it claims is the teeny tiniest desktop to be found in all the land. The diminutive IdeaCentre Q180 comes in a couple different configurations, all of which run on a 2.13 GHz Intel Atom D2700 CPU and an AMD Radeon HD 6450A GPU. That won’t have you playing Crysis any time soon, but streaming HD video should be no problem.
In past months, we’ve shown you how to build rigs for less than $1,000, and we even built a surprisingly speedy $667 PC Value Meal. But what do you do when your budget is half that? Let’s face it, not everyone has half a grand or more to spend on a new computer, and not every build has to be a tricked-out gaming rig. Sometimes you just need a second computer for the family, or an HTPC that doesn’t break the bank. Heck, sometimes you just need a cheap first computer. That doesn’t mean you have to head to big-boxville and pick a prebuilt off the rack. Indeed, we’re betting that with a little elbow grease we can put together a machine for less than $350 that’ll perform basic tasks, if not with a surplus of power, at least without smoking and dying.
It has long been considered common wisdom that the smaller the size of a PC, the greater its compromises. Notebooks, no matter how fat, for example, will never touch the power of a desktop machine.
The same held true for small form factor rigs. But is that still the case? To find out how today’s SFF rigs compare with their full-size desktop brethren, we tasked five top PC makers with sending us their best and brightest, and, well, smallest machines.
The Origin Chronos was an early bet on which system would be the fastest here, as we’ve seen what other vendors can do in Silverstone’s fabulous FT03 case.
Despite it having the same volume as the AVADirect and iBuypower machines, the FT03 occupies a smaller footprint than all others here, including the CyberPower LAN Party Evo, yet it accommodates an incredible amount of hardware.